Nestlé has been awarded top honours at the Massmart Supplier Environmental Awards for industry leading commitment to sustainable supply chain management.

Massmart sustainability executive, Alexander Haw, says: “Nestlé’s Zero Water manufacturing facility in Mossel Bay, Western Cape, is an incredible example of outstanding environmental stewardship and sets the company apart as a leader in sustainability. The company saved an impressive 168-million litres of water through this zero-water technology dairy manufacturing facility.”

Since 2009 Massmart has worked closely with its suppliers to understand and track the progress they are making in ensuring their products are manufactured sustainably. To date, the group has profiled and benchmarked the environmental practices of more than 2 000 suppliers through focused advocacy surveys and environmental assessments. These cover, among other things: packaging rationalisation, water conservation, operational energy efficiency, environmental product attributes, third-party certification and biodiversity impact mitigation.

“We have always maintained that we want our customers to walk into our stores and trust that we have carefully considered the products on our shelves, and have ensured that they have been produced and sourced sustainably. We know that we cannot do this alone, which is why we work closely with our suppliers to ensure that the products we sell are designed and manufactured in an environmentally-thoughtful manner,” says Haw.

To be considered for the awards (now in their fifth year), suppliers had to have operations located in South Africa, have publicly disclosed information confirming survey feedback, and must not have received environmental sanctions or censure within the past twelve months.

The finalists’ assessment process included an environmental self-assessment survey, stakeholder input from leading environmental NGOs and site visits to verify their survey feedback.

Other finalists included:

  • Backsberg Wines: The only South African Winery, and one of only three in the world, to be carbon neutral;
  • Belgotex: South Africa’s first Custom Industrial 6 Green Star rating for their Pietermaritzburg manufacturing plant;
  • Coca-Cola Beverages SA: Installed 10,4 MW of solar PV capacity, producing 18-million kWh of renewable energy a year;
  • Avondale Wines: 55 percent water-savings achieved per bottle through natural water filtration and computerised irrigation;
  • Distell: 25 percent of like-for-like water use reduced since 2016;
  • L’Oreal: 7 294 t of raw materials replaced with recycled materials;
  • Mondi: 27 percent of plantation area reserved for conservation;
  • Sappi: 800 MW of renewable power generated on 14 sites in seven countries;
  • Woodlands dairy: 53 percent reduction in water use, saving 19 000 kl of water per month.

“The finalists have been outstanding in their efforts to incorporate sustainable practices in the way that they run their operations and design their products. Although the size and nature of their businesses differ significantly, they have been able to derive benefit through considered, holistic sustainability interventions that have materially lessened their collective footprints,” Haw concludes.

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